Cohesion, as a concept, may be related to symbiosis. It implies an association of dissimilar entities to their mutual advantage. It is a particularly appropriate concept for the Community itself, and a very important one, as Europe moves towards greater integration.Economic, political and institutional integration will occur more easily and quickly if cohension between the different elements involved can be achieved. Cohesion of the European scientific Community, can play a role in assisting (or delaying) the overall movement of the Community towards greater and more lasting integration.Cohesion of the scientific community implies, among other things;
- free and open exchange of information,
- joint planning and execution of projects,
- access to facilities and results,
- narrowing of disparities in scientific and technical capability between regions and Member States.
There is evidence that progress is being made in respect of a number of these. Under the stimulus of the Framework Programme, the scientific community in Europe has become a more cohesive force. An important indicator of this is the level of participation by regions and Member States in the Programme.However, while some regions and Member States are major participants, there are grounds for concern about the level of participation of certain peripheral and Less Favoured Regions.